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$402 Million for Affordable Housing Allocated to Communities in Ontario

TORONTO, Ontario, August 31, 2005 — The Governments of Canada and Ontario have allocated $402 million to municipalities as a first wave of funding under the new $602 million Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Program. This allocation will produce 5,320 new units of affordable housing, and provide rent subsidies for up to 5,000 lower-income households.

The announcement was made today by the Honourable Joe Fontana, Federal Minister of Labour and Housing; the Honourable John Gerretsen, Ontario's Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing; Roger Anderson, President of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario; and David Miller, Mayor of Toronto.

"The strength of our communities rests on housing. The Government of Canada is working on many fronts to address the housing needs of all Canadians," said Minister Fontana. "We are pleased to work in close cooperation with our partners in order to provide Ontario residents with safe, affordable, and comfortable housing in their communities."

"Our government believes that access to safe, secure affordable housing is a basic human need," said Minister Gerretsen. "This funding is a key step towards meeting that need and clearly shows that Ontario is back in the affordable housing business."

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Canada, Ontario, the City of Toronto and the Association of Municipalities of Ontario to recognize that municipalities are key partners in the implementation of the Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Agreement.

AMO President Roger Anderson said, "Affordable housing is a priority for municipal governments in every part of Ontario. This agreement is an excellent example of how all three orders of government are working cooperatively to serve our communities, our province and our country better."

"The City of Toronto is pleased to be working in partnership with the federal and provincial governments to invest in affordable homes," said Mayor Miller. "The $116 million being allocated to Toronto under today's announcement will help provide much needed safe and affordable homes for several thousand families and individuals in our city."

Today's announcement includes an allocation of $322 million to create 5,320 units, spread among all 47 municipal regions in the province. Under an initiative known as "Strong Start", some $24 million of the $322 million has been set aside to fast track the development of up to 500 affordable housing units in the province that are ready for construction.

There is also an allocation of $80 million to create up to 5,000 housing allowances/rent supplements across the province, of which 500 units are set aside for victims of domestic violence. Housing allowances/rent supplements will enable municipalities to respond immediately to requests for affordable housing in their communities by working with both private and non-profit landlords to take advantage of the current high vacancy rate in the rental market.

A second wave of funding will follow that will allocate the balance of funds for affordable housing in Ontario.

For further information please contact:

Peter Graham
Director of Communications and Press Secretary
Office of Minister Fontana
(819) 953-5646

Patti Munce
Office of Minister Gerretsen
(416) 585-6333
Sean Goetz-Gadon
Special Housing Advisor
Mayor of Toronto
(416) 338-1143
Pat Vanini
Executive Director
Association of Municipalities of Ontario
(416) 971-9856

For more information visit :

www.mah.gov.on.ca
www.toronto.ca

Backgrounder

2005 Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Agreement

On April 29, 2005, Canada and Ontario agreed to a cost matching commitment of $301 million each which, together with municipal contributions, increases the total investment under the Agreement to $734 million in funding to be committed by 2009. This investment is being shared by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and municipalities. This means assistance to some 20,000 households in total under the Affordable Housing Agreement, including housing allowances/rent supplements for up to 5,000 lower-income families in Ontario.

Allocation Process

Housing Allowances/Rent Supplements funding to municipalities are allocated based on their share of the province's rental households in core need.

For rental and supportive units, allocations were made using a formula based on service managers' share of the province's rental households in core need and population growth between 1996 and 2004. The needs and growth formula addresses current needs in areas with the least affordability, as well as anticipated future needs in higher growth areas.

Remote units are allocated in Northern Ontario according to population among the 10 District Social Service Administration Boards/municipalities in the area.

Housing Allowances/Rent Supplements

Municipal service managers who are interested in participating will undertake a competitive selection process to choose participating landlords. Allocations made to municipal service managers who are not interested in participating will be reallocated to other municipal service managers in Ontario. Housing Allowances/rent supplements provide monthly rent subsidies that will help house people in need, while taking advantage of the current high vacancy rate in the rental market.

"Strong Start"

The design of the new Affordable Housing Program (Rental, Supportive and Remote, and Home Ownership) is expected to be completed before the end of 2005. In the interim, $24 million in funding has been set aside to fast track the development of up to 500 affordable housing units as quickly as possible.

Affordable housing projects that are ready to proceed immediately will be able to receive funding and start construction without waiting for the completion of the new program design and approvals process.

Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Program
Wave 1 Allocations (Fall 2005)

Municipal Regions
New Affordable Housing Units (Rental, Supportive & Remote
Housing Allowances/Rent Supplements
Units
Funding ($M)
Units
Funding ($M)
Algoma DSSAB
60
1.20
20
0.10
Brantford, City of
40
2.80
50
0.60
Bruce, County of
15
1.05
10
0.10
Chatham-Kent, Municipality of
15
1.05
40
0.38
Cochrane DSSAB
110
2.20
40
0.39
Cornwall, City of
25
1.75
50
0.45
Dufferin, County of
15
1.05
10
0.15
Durham, Regional Municipality of
160
11.20
140
2.35
Greater Sudbury, City of
210
4.20
80
0.87
Grey, County of
25
1.75
30
0.36
Halton, Regional Municipality of
120
8.40
90
1.73
Hamilton, City of
175
12.25
250
3.00
Hastings, County of
40
2.80
60
0.76
Huron, County of
15
1.05
20
0.19
Kawartha Lakes, City of
25
1.75
30
0.43
Kenora DSSAB
90
1.80
10
0.08
Kingston, City of
55
3.85
80
1.20
Lambton, County of
25
1.75
40
0.46
Lanark, County of
15
1.05
20
0.31
Leeds & Grenville, Utd Counties of
25
1.75
30
0.29
Lennox & Addington, County of
15
1.05
20
0.16
London, City of
145
10.15
210
2.90
Manitoulin-Sudbury DSSAB
50
1.00
10
0.02
Muskoka, District Municipality of
15
1.05
20
0.23
Niagara, Regional Municipality of
105
7.35
170
2.14
Nipissing DSSAB
110
2.2
40
0.41
Norfolk, County of
25
1.75
30
0.25
Northumberland, County of
25
1.75
30
0.47
Ottawa, City of
305
21.35
400
5.76
Oxford, County of
25
1.75
30
0.32
Parry Sound DSSAB
15
1.05
10
0.11
Peel, Regional Municipality of
455
31.85
270
4.21
Peterborough, City of
40
2.80
50
0.72
Prescott & Russell, Utd Counties of
25
1.75
30
0.24
Rainy River DSSAB
30
0.60
10
0.01
Renfrew, County of
25
1.75
30
0.24
Sault Ste. Marie
100
2.00
40
0.34
Simcoe, County of
145
10.15
110
1.65
St. Thomas, City of
25
1.75
30
0.27
Stratford, City of
15
1.05
20
0.22
Thunder Bay DSSAB
200
4.00
60
0.65
Timiskaming DSSAB
40
0.80
10
0.07
Toronto, City of
1,125
78.75
1,800
37.80
Waterloo, Regional Municipality of
145
10.15
160
2.21
Wellington, County of
55
3.85
60
0.90
Windsor, City of
120
8.40
140
1.85
York, Regional Municipality of
360
25.20
110
1.65
Rental and Supportive Units held in reserve
320
22.40

Total
5,320
322.40
5000
80